Sunday, 12 August 2012

...of course taxes don't affect behaviour do they! Unless you're Usain Bolt, of course.


In the otherwise euphoric post-race interview with Phil Jones there was a little aside about tax. You'll mostly have missed it amidst all the "wow", "amazing" and "fantastic" but it was there - in response to a question about why Usain Bolt didn't run much in Britain:

The Jamaican also said he would come and race in the UK more if the tax laws were changed. He has previously avoided competing here in protest at what he considers an overly punitive tax system.

The International Olympic Committee insisted that HMRC suspend its normal tax regime for those coming to Britain to compete as one of the conditions of awarding London the Games.

"As soon as the law changes I'll be here all the time. I love being here, I have so many Jamaican fans here and it's wonderful," Bolt said. 

And it is a stupid tax rule. One that means sponsored performers won't appear in the UK:

Usain Bolt and other overseas personalities can finish up paying well in excess of 100pc on the money they might earn from competing in the UK because the taxman grabs a share of their offshore sponsorship.

So we're denied the chance of seeing these great athletes compete and the taxman doesn't get any money either. Stupid or what?


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